Scholastic scholars stun South

Anna Gulyas, Copy Editor

Students Julia Gebeck ’22 and Jarif Rashid ’23 both earned Scholastic Honorable Mentions for their writing submissions this year.

Gebeck submitted a short story titled “Defender of the Home,” inspired by a time she was babysitting her cousins. She wrote the story in her creative writing class her junior year, but had been revising it up until the submission date.

“The story itself was inspired by my little cousins and their cat,” Gebeck said. “I was babysitting them one night and they were having trouble falling asleep, so I told them that their cat would protect them from nightmares. I had to write a short story in my creative writing class last year, so I wrote a story about a cat that is protecting its family from nightmares.”

Gebeck had submitted her photography to Scholastic in past years, but explained writing has always been her true passion, and something she wants to pursue as a career.

“My plan right now is to major in writing,” Gebeck said. “I’d love to publish a personal story, but career-wise I’d like to work in the entertainment industry, for a production studio and write short films or shows or movies.”

Similarly to Gebeck, Rashid said he has a strong passion for writing, however, he plans to keep it as nothing more than a hobby.

“(Writing is) just a habit I guess,” Rashid said. “I don’t think I’ll pursue it, it’s just something I do in my free time.”

Rashid submitted a personal memoir to Scholastic titled “Lessons to be Remembered,” surrounding his experience with the loss of his father.

“I wanted to have a highlight of how I felt after (my dad’s death), and the mistakes I made in grieving over him,” Rashid said. “It also exemplifies the good things he did for the family and why I felt so guilty after. The main focus after describing what happened in his death was basically to show people to not do what I did.”

Both Gebeck and Rashid’s advisor, creative writing teacher Meaghan Dunham, mentioned how refreshing it was to see students with such passion, and implores anyone with an interest in something like writing to submit their work to contests like Rashid and Gebeck did.

“You do not have to be Jack Kerouac or Maya Angelou to earn credibility and to get recognition in this way,” Dunham said. “Some of us get recognition in many ways, but who would not want recognition for something that they’ve written? (Students should realize) there’s a lot out there, and there’s a lot available and they should be willing to give it a shot.”